Thursday, August 4, 2011
I am delighted to say that after taking his first two slugs on June 26, Sluggo has expanded his dietary horizons from slugs to fresh cantaloupe,
strawberries, blueberries, bananas, black raspberries, peaches and Repto-Min turtle sticks (the green things in this photo).
I encourage him by soaking the Repto-Min in cantaloupe juice, or by pushing the dry sticks into fresh cantaloupe, where he can't help but devour them. Repto-Min is a wonderful complete food, that raises some mighty nicely shelled baby box turtles for me. Every day I put more Repto-Min in his fruit. He cleans it up!
Sluggo's housed in a 20 gallon long aquarium, with moist peat and sphagnum moss and some groovy shallow rock-like dishes just for reptiles. He's right under a south window, which gives him sun for basking. It's important to have water always available. Hurt box turtles often soak all day and night. It makes them feel better. You really have to stay on top of them, though, and keep that water clean, because they like to poopify their water. Choosing to poop in their water actually makes caring for box turtles easier, if a bit disgusting. Overall, it keeps their limited artificial environment a lot cleaner. About twice a day I'm taking sloshy poopified water outside to throw it off the deck. Ick. Worth it, though.
More than a month after finishing his injections, Sluggo's still not using his hind legs much. That's all right. They seem to work, in that he can extend and retract them. He'll get around to it eventually, and I'm not going to rush him. He's had a rough summer. And he still doesn't trust me to mess with his hinders. It takes box turtles a long time to trust someone who's once hurt them (with Baytril injections) but he'll get there. Every day he's a little more outgoing, and he'll eat from my fingers now.
He can stay here as long as he needs to. I'll take care of him. If that means a year or two, that's fine with me. But we all look forward to the day when I can call the folks who brought him to me and tell them he's ready to come home. He'll be released right where he was found. Minus the lawnmower.
Many thanks to those who chipped in on Sluggo's treatment costs. I wasn't expecting that. Y'all paid for his Baytril, his Repto-min, his Tegaderm, his Silvodine cream and some very nice cantaloupe, and for that I thank you sincerely. You always surprise me, in the nicest ways, and fill my heart.